Re: [asa] New Evidence for Two Human Origins

From: <philtill@aol.com>
Date: Wed Oct 03 2007 - 20:18:56 EDT

Examining the biblical lists in detail, we see that they are not really a step function, but instead have step-functions just like the SKL data.?

Oops.? I meant, "they are not really an exponential decay..."

Phil

-----Original Message-----
From: philtill@aol.com
To: hrc54@alltel.net; grayt@lamar.colostate.edu
Cc: asa@calvin.edu
Sent: Wed, 3 Oct 2007 6:34 pm
Subject: Re: [asa] New Evidence for Two Human Origins

My two cents -- a contrary view:

I haven't read this book, but the "exponential decay of lifespans" argument has been made by others.? I don't find it compelling because a comparison with Sumerian long-lifespans reveals some similar characteristics that can be better explained non-biologically.? The Sumerian Kings List (SKL) shows that there was a compiling of lists from multiple sources, and that the need to translate of numerals from the different systems used throughout mesopotamian history was not recognized by the compiler, and so they were slapped together producing some tell-tale numeric indications of this process.??The lengths of the kings' reigns from each source have their own distinct mean and standard deviation.? These appear as definite step-changes from one city-state's data?to another.? Examining the biblical lists in detail, we see that they are not really a step function, but instead have step-functions just like the SKL data.? Furthermore, they have some other interesting numeric features.
 ? The biblical list pre-Flood avoid using 6 out of the 10 base-10 numerals in the lowest digit.? This is also an indicator of mistranslating number systems.

So personally I think the strongest thesis that is consistent with a conservative theology is that the original text, brought by Abraham from Mesopotamia in cuneiform and faithfully reproduced by Moses when he wrote the Pentateuch in the newly invented Hebrew script, contained an amalgam of numeral systems from that ancient period.? Later, when the Jews standardized their own number system and converted the numerals to spelled-out Hebrew words (in order to prevent future mistranslation of?numerals), or possibly sometime earlier, these original Mesopotamian numerals were no longer understood.? And so the scholars did they best they could to translate them. From this period we find not one but three traditions, the Masoretic, the LXX, and the Samaritan, each with their own interpretation of the numbers.? For these three traditions to exist from that time period, it is most likely that the mistranslation occurred somewhere during the Babylonian captivity or s hortly after the Re
 storation, but probably prior to the time of the Abomination under Antiochus Epiphanes, by which time the Masoretic was fixed as the official Judean translation.? I can't prove these conclusions, but they are the feel that I have for it.? I'm sure a Jewish scholar of these texts could do much better than this.

So i see no support for a second creation of mankind in these numbers.

There was a time when I felt the need to reconcile a neolithic Adam (Adam 2?) with a universal Adam as progenitor of all mankind (Adam 1).? At that time I came up with "the craziest theory" of Adam.? The craziest theory says that Adam in the neolithic had a descendant Enoch who was taken as the Scripture hints, but not to heaven -- to the past in Ethiopia, from which he became the anscestor of all mankind.? Thus, the Adam of mesopotamia in the neolithic was also the biological father of us all.? How's that for a crazy attempt at concordance!? Needless to say, I never actually committed to believing such a crazy idea, but I found it to be interesting.

Instead, I came to the conclusion that there is a huge gap in the geneologies right at the very spot, in the very location where you would expect history to become fuzzy.? That gap is between the literaral Seth of semitic history and the Adam who is pre-historica and presented in Scripture as the father of us all.? There may have been a literal father of Seth named Adam, and the Semitic accounts brought from mesopotamia reflect him backwards in time to represent the founder of all humanity, placing him as a literary technique into the garden, etc., although the actual direct father of Seth probably was known only as a name and had no such literal history.? This is not to say that the garden account is non-literal (nor to say that it is), but only that we need not be forced to interpret the account either way.? I think it is most likely that the Adam of Genesis 1 and 2 was a direct inspiration of God, built upon a name who was the actual father of Seth, but who represented far
  more than the actual father of Seth.

this, IMO, is more sensitive to the methods of literature from that age and is more likely to be true than to say there were two origins of humanity.

God bless,
Phil

-----Original Message-----
From: Mountainwoman <hrc54@alltel.net>
To: grayt@lamar.colostate.edu
Cc: asa@calvin.edu
Sent: Wed, 3 Oct 2007 5:13 pm
Subject: Re: [asa] New Evidence for Two Human Origins

Terry,

?

Re your "What exactly is the evidence?," Gary Mayer's book doesn't really go into biological evidence for long life spans.? His book?covers in great detail how closely calculated potential life spans match the life spans recorded in the Genesis genealogies,?and in how a dual origin thesis fits the Genesis narrative.?

?

Possible explanations of long life are discussed in "New Discoveries in the Biochemistry of Aging Support the Biblical Record," by Fazale R. Rana, Hugh Ross and Richard Deem, available online at http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/longlife.html?and in other places.

?

I have no expertise in biology or biochemistry, so that is all I can offer.

?

Paul Bruggink (ASA Member)

Clarington, PA

?

?

?

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Received on Wed Oct 3 20:19:32 2007

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